Bauch & Lomb Taps Worldcom Partners
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Bauch & Lomb Taps Worldcom Partners

Worldcom recently picked up what may be it’s biggest piece of U.S. business, with 15 agencies around the country combining to help Bausch & Lomb introduce a new contact lens product.

Paul Holmes

ROCHESTER—Historically, large networks of independent public relations firms have been more successful in providing networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities for their members than they have at new business development. When members firms do share business, it is generally on a one-to-one level, with a firm in Los Angeles calling on its partner in New York for media relations support.
 
But Worldcom, with more than 100 member firms in 35 countries, is trying to challenge that convention, and with some success. The network recently picked up what may be it’s biggest piece of U.S. business, with 15 agencies around the country combining to help Bausch & Lomb introduce a new contact lens product.
 
The lead agency on the account is Rochester-based Buck & Pulleyn, which has worked with B&L on other assignments. It will be assisted by a team of partner agencies in major markets, including Epley & Associates in Charlotte, Clarke & Company in Boston, The Standing Partnership in St. Louis, and Kostka Gleason Communications in Denver.
 
“There have been more expensive programs in which fewer partners have done more work,” says Buck & Pulleyn director of public relations Mike McDougall. “But this is one of the largest pieces of business we have ever won in terms of the number of domestic markets we are working in. It’s becoming more and more common for our partner firms to work together, and this is one of the highlights.”
 
The Worldcom team won the account in a pitch that involved more conventional national firms including Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, which recently picked up B&L’s optical nutrition business.
 
Bausch & Lomb has applied to the Food & Drug Administration for approval to markets its Pure Vision contact lenses to be worn for 30 days, as opposed to the current seven days. The Worldcom team will handle the roll-out of the product with its new indication.
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